David Budd is our elected Mayor in Middlesbrough. He is a champion for the Arts, Heritage and Culture, and has had a huge impact on the cultural sector in Middlesbrough. He is the chair of the North East Cultural Partnership, the Portfolio Holder for Culture in the Tees Valley Combined Authority, and has a strong and positive relationship with Arts Council England. He is also the Chair of the Culture Thematic group, and has been involved in leading City of Culture 2025 bid for the Tees Valley.
He is an ambitious and brave cultural leader who doesn’t sing his own praises or take the limelight but who has been quietly and slowly building a cultural revolution in Middlesbrough! During his time as Mayor, Middlesbrough has re-opened Middlesbrough Town Hall as a National Portfolio Organisation after a £7.7 million refurbishment which Middlesbrough Council, Heritage Lottery Fund, and Arts Council England contributed to. Middlesbrough Town Hall is a Town Hall for the 21st Century and during its opening over 80 members of the community participated in Erimus, a large scale participatory commission by Southpaw Dance. This was supported by the Mayor and brought together a diverse community of people around the Town Hall, showcasing different spaces of the newly renovated building.
Dave is well known by high profile partners not only in Middlesbrough, but also in the Tees Valley, from The ARC Stockton to MIMA, and Stockton International Riverside Festival. He regularly attends community cultural events, from Ethiopian and Eritrean New Year, to Taste of Africa, to MIMA community lunches. He has supported independent organisations such as House of Blah Blah and Middlesbrough Art Weekender, he has advocated for international facing work and has supported an international artist exchange with both North Sweden and Oberhausen. He really deserves to be recognised!